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AstraZeneca's Fasenra Meets Endpoint in Rhinosinusitis Study

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AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) announced that the phase III OSTRO study evaluating its asthma drug, Fasenra (benralizumab) in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) met both co-primary endpoints of reduced nasal polyp size and nasal blockage. Data from the study showed that improvement in the size of nasal polyps and nasal blockage in patients with CRSwNP were statistically significantly versus placebo.

The patients in the study were still symptomatic despite continued treatment with standard of care that primarily consists of intranasal corticosteroids and systemic corticosteroids.

Please note that the OSTRO study is part of AstraZeneca’s clinical program evaluating Fasenra as a potential treatment of CRSwNP. Another ongoing phase III study — ORCHID — is part of the program.

CRSwNP is an inflammatory disease that can lead to elevated levels of eosinophils in the upper respiratory tract and benign growth called nasal polyps. Patients with polyps can suffer from nasal blockage and discharge, reduction or loss in the sense of smell, sleep disturbances and other adverse effects on quality of life. Data from the OSTRO study suggests that these patients may benefit from Fasenra, following a potential label expansion approval for CRSwNP.

AstraZeneca shares have risen 6.4% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 0.5%.


Fasenra is currently approved as an add-on maintenance treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries. It currently faces competition from GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK - Free Report) Nucala and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' (TEVA - Free Report) Cinqair. Fasenra also competes with other drugs that are approved to treat asthma including Novartis (NVS - Free Report) /Roche’s Xolair and Sanofi/Regeneron’s, Dupixent. Meanwhile, Roche is also developing Xolair as a potential treatment for CRSwNP.

Fasenra is one of AstraZeneca’s key drugs driving its product sales growth. The drug recorded sales of $426 million in the first half of 2020, representing growth of 43.9% at a constant exchange rate. According to AstraZeneca, Fasenra enjoys leadership position among novel biologic asthma medicines in Europe and Japan.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca is also developing the drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other eosinophilic diseases including eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, hypereosinophilic syndrome and eosinophilic oesophagitis.

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AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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